The Detroit Tigers have traded All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Los Angeles Angels. Right-handed pitcher Wilkel Hernandez and center fielder Troy Montgomery are the prospects the Tigers will receive in the deal, according to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press.
Hernandez was ranked 24th in the Angels system on MLB.com’s 2017 Prospect Watch. He is an 18-year-old signed out of Venezuela at the age of 16. In 2017, he pitched in 12 games total at Rookie ball, compiling a 2.64 ERA over 44 1⁄3 innings.
Montgomery was ranked 20th in the Angels farm. He is a 23-year-old currently at the Double-A level. In 2017, he batted .271 with a .771 OPS and eight home runs across three minor league levels.
Kinsler has been among one of the most buzzed about players on the trade radar this offseason. Tigers general manager Al Avila made it clear he was willing to listen to offers on any player, and with the Angels he found the ideal trade candidate for Kinsler. Reports suggest former Tiger Justin Upton has been greasing the wheels with the Angels to make the trade happen, which probably helped.
Kinsler has spent the last four seasons with the Tigers after coming to Detroit from the Texas Rangers in the blockbuster Prince Fielder trade. Kinsler is a four-time All-Star, and won a Gold Glove with the Tigers in 2016, as well as being a finalist for the prize in 2017. He was the second baseman for Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
The 35-year-old saw an offensive decline in 2017, but was still a remarkable defensive player, who showed up to the stadium every day ready to work. His career averages over 12 seasons are .273/.342/.447, though he only hit for .236/.313/.412 this year.
Kinsler will become a free agent after his 2018 season, so there’s no word yet on a possible contract extension. The Angels already made a big buzz this week when they signed international superstar Shohei Ohtani.
Kinsler has been a memorable and welcome character in the Tigers dugout for four years, and though this trade felt inevitable, it doesn’t mean he won’t be missed by fans in Detroit.
So long, Ian.